The ufo University is an interdisciplinary project, running for six months beginning in February 2010, in which social problem contexts within the fields of art and science will be debated. The focus is on the discussion of social, economic, political, cultural, and other problems and their âtranslationâ into productive forms of expression and intervention beyond the narrow confines of genres. The ufo University aims to expound the problems of borders between disciplines, between scientific and aesthetic practices, between the process of debate and its product, between experts and non-professionals, between actors and audience, thereby countering possible institutional and social habits and breaking down boundaries through practical activity.
The goal is to work with social protagonists, neutralise institutional spaces and expand into daily opinion-forming processes. The âsourceâ and focus of the project is the social space within which the project interacts and is intended to interact. Local participants and audiences are its âagentsâ. In its criticism of current institutional, artistic and scientific practices, the project ufo University is seen as an attempt to generate productive friction and perhaps play a part in (re)activating the political relevance of science, art and the area âin-betweenâ.
Participants are all those who are interested in the question of what world we wish to live in, regardless of whether organised in a team or as an individual, as a professional or in oneâs own free time, with or without a profession and with or without academic qualifications or training. The focus is on the interest of the participants in controversial topics and the process-oriented debate on a specific topic within a group. A variety of experts will offer both theoretical and practical support to project participants.
The venue during the project is Halle/Saale, Germany, and its operational base will be in the ufo gallery and art space. As the project will concern itself with supra-regional and global processes, participants from abroad have also been invited to enrich the experience of local participants and audiences. This means that the project is not only in contact with institutions, associations and numerous experts in Halle/Saale, Germany, but also with artists and scientists from Thailand and Japan, Australia, UK, Bangladesh and Kenya.
The project ufo University perceives itself as a forum for education, discussion and confrontation and as an attempt to re-politicise public life. Alongside the six-month project period and its supporting programme, the project will also include several public events (i.e. a micro-conference on explanations of the world, panel discussions and movie nights) and formats developed for the local community radio. Following two interim presentations, a project exhibition will be held at the end of the project period in mid-July 2010; this will take place in the rooms of the ufo-University, in public venues and in a number of institutions in Halle/Saale.